2009 Annual Report
Read the full report. (pdf)
Executive Summary: The APA in 2008-09
The APA is dedicated to improving the health of all children and adolescents through leadership in education of child health professionals, research and dissemination of knowledge, patient care, and advocacy, in partnership with children, families and communities.
The APA will be a leader among child health professional organizations in optimizing the health of all children, adolescents, and young adults through:
- Education of a diverse group of child health professionals
- Research and dissemination of new knowledge
- Patient care, with measurable improvements in quality and health outcomes
- Advocacy for an equitable children's health agenda
APA Core Values:
- The APA will pursue its goals by adherence to the following Core Values:
- Scholarship, with dedication to academic excellence in research and education, and effective dissemination of new knowledge
- Inter-disciplinary collaboration, achieved among diverse professional groups, including primary care and subspecialty pediatricians, non-pediatric disciplines, and non-medical professionals
- Leadership in professional development, including faculty development, and career development of fellows, residents, medical students, and PhD and other disciplines
- Focus on the whole child in a social context that includes family, community, and environment
- Enhancing the health of all children, both nationally and internationally, through pursuit of an equitable children's health agenda
From Vision to Legacy:
The Academic Pediatric Association began as a group of pediatricians who worked in outpatient settings with a shared goal of better health services for children. This group gathered informally for years prior to a meeting in 1960 in the New Ocean House, Swampscott, Massachusetts when a constitution of a new society was adopted for the "Association for Ambulatory Pediatric Services." In 1968 the organization changed its name to the Ambulatory Pediatric Association (APA) and in 2007 to the Academic Pediatric Association (APA). In 1999 the organization started its own journal now named Academic Pediatrics. Through the years the organization has maintained its strong focus on generalism and has supported the development of multiple "generalist subspecialties" including adolescent medicine, developmental-behavioral pediatrics, pediatric emergency medicine, child abuse, pediatric hospital medicine, and pediatric environmental medicine.
APA's membership has included nearly 1,900 members who are dedicated pediatricians and other child health professionals who perform academic work in a variety of outpatient, inpatient, community, public health, and other settings. Through research, education, public policy, and health care delivery committees, 38 special interest groups, and 10 regions the APA has been an activist organization. This past year we have begun plans to celebrate APA's 50th anniversary celebrating our enduring commitment to the health of all children and adolescents.
2008-2009 was a pivotal year in implementing an ambitious and comprehensive strategic plan developed the previous year. It was a time of tremendous activity and success owing to the creativity, energy, expertise, and drive of our members and leaders. Many APA members were active in the historic 2008 U.S. election of the Obama administration and began work on health reform. However, with the faltering economy it was not "the best of times" for children, adolescents and families. The APA's assets lost value and there was concern about attendance at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) meeting in Baltimore because of the economic crisis and the start of the H1N1 epidemic. Proactive measures by the PAS to reduce costs and encourage attendance led to an academically and fiscally successful meeting in May 2009. Actions by APA's leadership to review expenses and rebalance APA's investments have helped the organization weather the storm to ensure our mission. Change around us has brought new opportunities and challenges for the APA. Amid a tumultuous economic time, APA remains strong as an organization and in our commitment to children and families.
In 2007 Clai Dungy began a strategic planning process that articulated a five year strategic plan. In 2008 Peter Szilagyi led the APA in implementing many components of the strategic plan including revising the APA name, mission, and vision. Strategic planning is an important leadership staple but implementation, monitoring and follow-up are key. This past year we re-visited the strategic plan and focused on areas of needed implementation and improvement. We have worked on strengthening the APA infrastructure with development of an organizational chart to clearly delineate our organizational structure and a core activities policy delineating a clear monitoring process. As our organization has grown in size and complexity, an APA policy and procedures manual has been assembled to guide our activities.
During the past year we built upon the foundation of the "four pillars"of APA: education, research, health care delivery, and advocacy/public policy. We maintained and increased support of major activities in all four areas, and we began several major new programs that enhance our shared mission.
The APA publishes a prestigious journal, Academic Pediatrics, hosts major annual meetings, runs a variety of intensive programs in education and professional development, and supports research networks and programs to enhance the research endeavors of our members. The APA and its members have an active public policy agenda and collaborates with other organizations in advocating locally, nationally, and internationally for children. The APA has a major focus on the academic development of junior individuals. Our members provide leadership for outstanding clinical programs around the world. Our regions are active, holding annual meetings and conferences, and our special interest groups focus intensively on content areas relevant to child health. We honor the many special accomplishments of our members through annual awards, though the true value of these accomplishments rests in their impact on the health and lives of children. Because of expansions in our activities, this past year we initiated core enhancements including increasing the size of our central office, upgrading our website and intensifying communications with members including increasing publication frequency of our APA Focus newsletter from quarterly to every other month. Despite the economic downturn, our finances are sound. The strong support from our members, including donations to the APA Development Fund, sustains our financial base.
The specific sections of this annual report describe the many incredible programs and activities of our members. The following synopsis provides a flavor of the breadth and depth of activities of our APA colleagues. An important outgrowth of the APA&339;s strategic plan is the conceptualization of core activities noted above. These are major programs that have substantial impact on children and on our APA members, and have been evaluated and found to be successful. Although these activities require the APA's commitment and core financial support, nearly all have substantial external funding. Core activities are described in the following sections.
The APA provides leadership in professional development by sponsoring a variety of major meetings. The largest is the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) meeting, which is sponsored by four partner organizations (APA, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Pediatric Society, Society for Pediatric Research) as well as a number of alliance organizations and is one of the largest pediatric scientific conferences in the world attracting nearly 6,000 participants. The APA runs the workshops and special interest group meetings at PAS. This past year's meeting in Baltimore was tremendously successful, providing members with educational and networking opportunities as well as intensive experiences in core content areas and research endeavors. The APA presented its major awards at the PAS meetings, recognizing the outstanding work of many members.
In addition to the PAS meetings, the APA has become a sponsor of several other major meetings. The third APA Leadership Conference was held in New Orleans and was a tremendous success, attracting more than 140 individuals. The fifth annual Pediatric Hospital Medicine meeting, co-sponsored by the APA, AAP and Society for Hospital Medicine was held in Tampa and attracted a record number of individuals. The Environmental Health Scholars meeting was an intensive learning and sharing experience for a core group of scholars. A new meeting sponsored by APA, APPD and COMSEP, Pediatric Education Across the Continuum, is planned for the fall 2009 in the DC area. Multiple senior APA members serve as liaisons to other organizations and attend meetings with leaders of these organizations. Through meetings, the APA promotes professional development, networking, and mentorship.
Ambulatory Pediatrics becomes Academic Pediatrics - The APA Journal
This bimonthly journal is one of the most visible products of the APA. With the name change of APA, the journal officially changed its name as well. After a decade of growth and success under editorship of Jim Perrin, Peter Szilagyi was chosen as the new editor. Now in its eleventh year, the journal is one of the premier health services research journals and is also a home for research in pediatric education, clinical work, and health policy, as well as scientific reviews and personal narratives. Hundreds of APA members have contributed to the journal by authoring manuscripts or reviewing submitted articles. The metrics of success for the journal keep rising.
Educational Activities and Professional Development
APA members play a major role in pediatric education throughout the continuum, with a particular emphasis on medical student, pediatric resident, and fellowship training. A number of educational programs have become core APA activities, including the Educational Scholars program, which trains faculty in the methods and scholarship of education; the New Century Scholars program, which provides mentorship and training for minority pediatric residents; the Community Pediatric Training Initiative which trains pediatric residents in community pediatrics and advocacy; the Educational Guidelines for Residency Training program, which provides guidelines for residency training programs; and the Academic General Pediatric Fellowship Accreditation Program, which began its first full year after 2 years of rigorous testing and publication of two articles. The program provides APA accreditation and consultation to fellowships in academic general pediatrics. These large-scale educational programs complement the many other local, national, and international educational activities being performed by APA members.
APA members are performing outstanding research in a variety of content areas, primarily in the areas of general pediatrics and the content areas of our multiple disciplines such as adolescent medicine, developmental and behavioral pediatrics, pediatric emergency medicine, pediatric inpatient care, pediatric environmental health, child abuse, primary care, community pediatrics international health, health policy, and many others. At academic institutions, within communities, public health organizations, clinical practices, and other health-related settings, APA members are pushing back the frontiers of knowledge and discovery.
The APA supports two major research networks: The Continuity Research Network (CORNET, with nearly 100 continuity clinic sites) and the Pediatric Research in Inpatient Settings (PRIS, with dozens of participating sites). Multi-site research offers tremendous possibilities for studying important questions in health care and education. The APA has an active Young Investigators Grant Program for individuals who are early in their professional careers. Funding from AHRQ, the Commonwealth Foundation and MCHB has allowed us to expand our grant program to the critical areas of quality of care, preventive services, and Bright Futures. Results from all of these research efforts end up in manuscripts including our own journal, and most importantly in measurable improvements in child health care, policy, and education. All in all, the quality and quantity of research performed by APA members is astounding.
The APA has an active public policy agenda, supporting national and international policy activities. Many of these activities are in collaboration with other organizations, because a united child health policy strategy is more effective than multiple disparate ones.
Accomplishments this past year in policy and advocacy include a focus and directed activities on two strategic policy areas- provision of adequate health insurance to all children and enhancing training of pediatric healthcare providers. Regarding health insurance, the APA led an effort by the Federation of Pediatric Organizations (FOPO) to issue a position statement calling for adequate health insurance for all children and adolescents, and worked closely with the AAP and other colleague organizations on advocating for universal health insurance for children. Regarding training, the APA has provided substantial leadership in promoting Title VII funding including publication of the history of Title VII support in pediatrics and testimony to Congress. APA has led efforts to ensure research training is included in the Title VII programs funded by HRSA.
During the US national elections, the APA Public Policy and Advocacy Committee sponsored the "Prescription to Vote" initiative. Members were encouraged to pass out prescriptions to vote in their clinics and other settings and to assist with voter registration. This effort was very successful in empowering parents to vote.
Health Care Delivery
The APA and its members are devoted to the goal of improving the health care delivery and health outcomes of children, adolescents, and families. APA members lead and work in clinical programs throughout the world that serve children who are vulnerable because of chronic conditions or socioeconomic circumstances. These range from primary care settings to inpatient, emergency, and specialty programs. The APA brings academics to clinical care, and clinical care to academics. Two fundamental principles govern APA-related clinical activities. The first is the emphasis on the whole child and family, within a community context. The second is the recognition that clinical care is only one aspect of a child's life, and must be optimized in light of environmental, community, social, economic, and cultural contexts.
One area of emphasis has been the implementation of the Family Centered Medical Home (FCMH) concept. A task force on the FCMH was formed. A meeting on the medical home sponsored by APA, the Society for General Internal Medicine and Society for Teachers in Family Medicine is planned for summer 2009. The task force has articulated the unique aspects of the medical home for children with a publication forthcoming.
The finances of the APA are sound, with an operating budget of $1.49 million for 2009. While we did experience a drop in our overall investment portfolio, the APA has sufficient reserves to accommodate poor economic times. One sign of the APA's strength is the level of giving to the APA Development Fund. Since the APA Development Fund was established in 2003, a total of nearly $172,000 has been raised by the end of 2009. In 2007, 92% of the APA Board of Directors, 48% of region chairs, 48% of SIG chairs, and 43% of our general membership contributed to the APA Development Fund.
The APA has over 1900 talented and committed members. We are a diverse organization, comprised of physicians, nurse practitioners, doctoral trained professionals, students, and other child health experts. Our members are active locally and nationally because they care about children. Our 10 vibrant regions hold stimulating regional meetings and provide members with collaborative activities. Our four standing committees direct multiple programs, and our 38 special interest groups (SIGS) work on critical areas relevant to child health.
The Academic Pediatric Association (APA) is thriving and has had a monumental year. Through education, research, patient care and advocacy, we will collectively continue our shared mission to improve the world for children. It has been an honor to serve this organization on behalf of children and families.
Tina L. Cheng, MD, MPH
President, APA, 2008-09
Read the full report. (pdf)